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JAPAN BEAT

Sadao Watanabe

Sadao Watanabe
Courtesy of Blue Note Tokyo

Jazz in Japan is synonymous with Sadao Watanabe, the cheerful, jowly alto saxophonist who has been a fixture of the Japanese jazz scene since his debut in the ' For the first two weeks in July, the Blue Note Tokyo's Joy of Sounds concerts will provide an opportunity to assess Watanabe's far-reaching musical scope and breadth of experience developed over five decades. It additionally offers the chance to contrast Watanabe's Brazilian-influenced jazz with the contemporary Brazilian pop of Lenine, who will be through town in June. Cutting his teeth with Toshiko Akiyoshi's seminal bop group in the '50s, Watanabe went on to polish his resume at the Berklee College of Music in Boston before returning to Japan in the late '60s. Since then he has recorded steadily, releasing a spectrum of material ranging from straight-ahead bebop to Brazilian-influenced pop sessions. The upcoming Joy of Sounds gigs will examine different musical interests of Watanabe's, including, among others, American Jazz Nights (7/2-6) pairing him with American modern jazz sax legend Jackie McLean, Brazilian Nights (7/7-11) featuring pianist Cesar and the Amigos do Brazil, and African Nights (7/12-15) with African percussion group N'Goma Makamba.

Joy of Sounds takes place at the Blue Note Tokyo on June 11 and July 2-15. See concert listings for details.


JAPAN BEAT ARCHIVE:
NOVEMBER
400: Cornelius
SEPTEMBER

393: Mikidozan
391: Shelter 10th Anniversary
389: The beautiful losers

AUGUST
387: Junpei Shiina
383: Umekuichi
JULY
381: P'ez
JUNE
379: Boredoms
377: Dai Sakakibara
375: Dreams Come True
MAY
373: eX-Girl
APRIL
370: Pizzicato Five
MARCH
368: Dub Squad
366: Buffalo Daughter
364: Phew Phew L!ve
362: Fumio Yasuda
FEBRUARY
360: Boom Boom Satellites
358: Kei Kobayashi
JANUARY
356: Cool Drive Makers
354: Bird
351: United Future Organization
349: Audio Active
347: Ondekoza
345: Misia
343: Brahman
341: Puffy
339: Ryukyu Festival 2000
337: Rappagariya
335: Lisa Ono
333: Air Jam 2000
331: Feed
327: Tenkoo Orchestra
325: Wrench
323: Sadao Watanabe
321: Dry & Heavy
319: Bonny Pink
317: Sakura Hills Disco 3000
315: Aco
313: Rovo
311: The Mad Capsule Markets
309: Coldfeet

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